Infiniti Project Black S: hybrid super-saloon with F1 tech revealed in Paris

Published: 01 October 2018

► A development of the car shown at Geneva
► Uses F1-style MGU-H and MGU-K
► Carbon-fibre body, production unlikely 

You’re looking at the Project Black S, a super-hot saloon from Infiniti that uses powertrain technology taken straight from Formula One. First seen at the Geneva motor show last year, 2018’s show car brings a vast array developments – and even uses both MGU-H and MGU-K modules for recuperating and reusing energy.

‘Project Black S utilises high power and smart energy management from advanced powertrains, a thrilling dynamic capability on road and track, and a performance-oriented aesthetic,’ said the president of Infiniti, Roland Krueger. ‘The Project Black S prototype is a test-bed for new ideas and technologies, demonstrating how our Alliance partnerships could make our ambitious visions a reality.’

It’s a batmobile!

Although it’s based on the Infiniti Q60, the updated Project Black S now features a more aggressive body for aerodynamic purposes, and it’s also undergone some serious weight-saving inside and out. 

What is a hybrid car? We explain

Designed by Infiniti’s Paddington based offices, the new prototype uses carbon-fibre bodywork all-round, with yellow accents to emphasise its link the the Renault F1 team. Confusingly, this is a product of the Nissan-Renault alliance, as Infiniti is a premium brand of the former. That means there’s work here from Nissan’s engineers in Japan, and from the Viry-Châtillon-based F1 team, too.

Thanks to its exclusively matte, carbon-fibre shell, the Project Black S also feature super-thin aero blades and channels. And as you’d expect, the entire car is finished with a massive diffuser rear-wing.

Race to road

The Project Black S uses Infiniti’s twin-turbocharged, 395bhp VR30 V6, but adds both MGU-H and MGU-K energy recovery systems to increase both power and efficiency. The MGU-K is able to recover power but also boost power to the crankshaft, while the MGU-H is able to spool up the turbos to eliminate turbo lag. What’s more, the latter is also capable of recovering lost exhaust gas energy from the turbochargers, and feeding it back into the battery.

Will it ever come out?

Infiniti is calling the Project Black S a test-bed for both hybrid and EV technology, so the chances of actually seeing one of these on the road – or even a dealership – are pretty slim. However, with the F1 teams looking to squeeze as much marketing-juice as possible out of their motorsport involvement – think AMG One – there’s a tiny chance we could see it on the road… eventually.

By Curtis Moldrich

CAR's online editor and racing-sim enthusiast